I wanted so much to concentrate fully on the enormity of that one big thing – Des’ second birthday and being two years past what it was like to meet him. How it felt to hold him against me, and even how it felt to watch him belong to someone else for a bit, as I was pretty much chasing an ambulance and then racing to a NICU two days after his birth. Post-partum, pained and shaken.
And I wanted so much to concentrate fully on the enormity of that other one big thing on the same day – Scarlet’s preschool graduation and being nearly two years past her entrance into this safe and healthy school that we chose. And how it was safe and healthy for ME. I’m losing my place there too. We’re finding another. It’s not about me, but isn’t it about me, just the same?
My mom came for Des’ birthday/Scarlet’s preschool graduation and my one small voice was swallowed up by birthday presents and birthday cakes and new train sets, and Des’ need to hug my mom…every…30 seconds. It’s magical really.
And I remembered what we had and what we have. I remembered that on the Wednesday morning before this, he came with me to my dentist appointment and lay in my lap stroking my arms for a half hour, until he fell asleep and I completed my dental cleaning/exam by running my fingers through his flippy, teen 80’s movie hair. If that isn’t bonding, I don’t know what is.
My one small voice was swallowed up in the dark, rainy, humid day of celebration. I knew people could see and hear me just fine, but I still chose mostly silence. I was proud. I was nervous. I was annoyed at the pouring rain, for the second Des birthday in a row, and what an indoor preschool party and later birthday party would look like under low light. Good, but not as good.
I started writing this weeks ago, actually on that day or the one after. I’m continuing the draft after summer has already settled over us into a familiar but unfamiliar rhythm of summer camp and heat and air conditioning and small trips. However, the sentiment is still there. In fact, Scarlet is turning five this week. And I’ll be ready with a post and a cake and my camera.
And then we left early, because Des fell asleep in my arms, and it was time to go home and celebrate his birthday. And nothing says, “I love you” like backwards letters on your “Happy Birthday” sign and a cake with 117 ingredients. Nothing.
Five of the grandparents came, which was really special. And they all came to Scarlet’s birthday party last week too. It was not overwhelming at all. It was perfect. And Scarlet said about her real birthday, this Wednesday (much more on that soon), “Can we.. just spend the whole day just the four of us?” Perfect. She’ll be getting a kid REAL camera, and maybe a day at Six Flags.